NHS honors new Sports Hall of Fame inductees

by Karen Sangillo

Neshaminy High School conducted its 2024 All Sports Hall of Fame ceremony on Friday, April 26th at the Theodore Kloos Auditorium. 

Individual inductees included Tyler Katz (2012, boys basketball); Christina Udris (2010, girls bowling); Kelly Larson (2013, girls cross country); Timothy Haines (2010, boys cross country); Marlea Partlon (1998, field hockey); Kelly Schailey Doizer (2001, girls indoor track); Bryan Reice (2012, boys indoor track); Megan Schafer Miller (2014, girls soccer); Alexa Bell (2010, softball); Alex Fioravante (2011, tennis); Jessica Stecklein Foster (2013, girls track); Ryan DiPinto (2012, boys track) and Jessica O’Donnell (2011, girls volleyball).

Also inducted was the 1982 state championship boys soccer team. Team members included Gary Adams, Jim Barnes, Mark Costello, Walt Davis, Dave Downey, Tom Foley, Steve Gallagher, Mario Harpel, Shawn Junker, John Koschewitz, Jim Laughlin, Scott MacNaughton, Drew Markol, Vince McGlynn, Scott Mertz, Mike Mills, Pete Moosbrugger, John Morgan, Mark Ozoroski, Tom Ozoroski, Scott Ruffing, Joel Solomon, Halt Troutman and Eric Weinelt. 

The coaching staff included head coach Hal Heffelfinger, assistant coach Bill Powell, goalie coach Larry Keller, volunteer coach Lloyd Weinstein and statistician Ron Heffelfinger. 

The team went 20-0-4 and defeated Fleetwood, 2-1, in 10 overtimes, for the state title. Mertz netted the winning goal with an assist from Mark Ozoroski. They were the school’s first state championship team, and the first team to be inducted into Neshaminy’s Hall of Fame. 

Katz was a four-year varsity starter, earning all-league second team honors and starting on two state tournament teams. Udris was a team captain and a first team all-league selection. She had a team-high average of 183.  Kelly Larson was a four-year varsity cross country runner and a team captain. She was an all-league second team pick.  Haines was a team captain and a three-time all-league first team selection. He was Neshaniny’s Outstanding Male Athlete of 2010 and went on to run cross country and track and field at DeSales University. 

“Being inducted is pretty awesome,” Haines said. “I’m humbled by it. There are definitely a lot of good runners at Neshaminy and to be included in that group is such an honor. Being involved athletically made a difference for me. I made lifelong friendships and helped shape me into the person I am today, and I’m very grateful for that.”

Partlon was a team captain and three-year varsity starter, and an all-league first team choice. She went on to play field hockey at Bloomsburg, winning two NCAA Division II national championships. 

Schailey Dozier was first team all-league in the pole vault, becoming the first-ever school record holder in that event. She also held school records in the pole vault and discus relays. She competed collegiately at Kutztown. 

“This is a great honor, and definitely unexpected,” she said. “My daughter (Gwen) is a senior here, she played soccer and lacrosse, and it was fun to come back and have her and my family here with me. I appreciate all of the hard work the Hall of Fame committee did to make this night happen for me and the other inductees.”  

Reice was a state qualifier in 2012, earning all-state honorable mention as a member of the 4×200 relay, which also held the school record. 

“Neshaminy really is a community-based district,” said Reice, who teaches health and physical education at Neshaminy. “I loved it here and wanted to come back and teach here and they made that dream come true. Everything my coaches gave to me I want to give back to my students and follow in the footsteps of my father (former Neshaminy soccer great Rich Reice). He went here and taught and coached here as well. He gave back after his great experience here and now I’m doing the same. I’m grateful for that opportunity and I’m very grateful to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.” 

Schafer Miller was the 2014 Gatorade Player of the Year, the SOL National League Player of the Year three-time NSCAA All-American and was twice named the PA State Coaches Association Player of the Year before heading to a standout career at Penn State.  

Bell was a second team all-league choice. She was also a standout in field hockey, playing goaltender. 

“Neshaminy was amazing,” said Bell, who currently teaches and coaches at Northeast High School in Philadelphia. 

“The resources, the traditions, the superstitions we had. Everything I do as a coach is based on things we did here. The pasta parties, the T-shirts that I do, the little activities that are team bonding experiences, I bring everything that I had here as an athlete to the teams I coach now. It was such a positive experience and I want to share that with my own athletes, so they get as much out of their sports as I did.”  

Fioravante finished third in the state tournament his senior year, before going on to play tennis at Drexel. He reached the qualifying round of the U.S. Open in 2013. 

Stecklein Foster was first team all-league in the long jump and the 4×100 relay, held the school record in the long jump and 4×100 relay, and finished fourth at states in the 4×100 relay. 

DePinto was a three-year varsity letter winner, recipient of the Neshaniny Gold Athlete Award, earned a silver medal at the PIAA championships in the 4×100 relay and was a New Balance National All-American Outdoor Sprinter 4×100 relay medalist. 

O’Donnell was a team captain, first team all-league, the team MVP and recipient of the Coaches award. She played collegiately at Penn State Altoona. 

PHOTO CAP: Pictured from left, Kelly Larson (2013, cross country); Jessica O’Donnell (2011, volleyball); Jessica Stecklein Foster (2013, track); Megan Schafer Miller (2014, soccer); Christina Udris (2-10, bowling); Alexa Bell (2010, softball); Marlea Partlon (1998, field hockey); Bryan Reice (2012, indoor track); Ryan DiPinto (2012, track); Timothy Haines (2010, cross country); Tyler Katz (2012, basketball).

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